Let us guess. You’re here because you probably had a ‘gait analysis’ done at a shoe store and were advised to wear running shoes that ‘reduces’ or ‘corrects’ your pronation.
Or you read something about overpronation on the internet, so you landed on this page to do further research before finally deciding which shoe to buy.
But let’s make it clear right away – these so-called stability running shoes will not ‘cure’ or even correct your overpronation. Everyone pronates; this inward-rolling movement is a naturally occurring component of the gait cycle. The only difference is that a certain population of runners roll in a lot more than the others.
To counter the exaggerated movement, the ‘medial post’ was invented a few decades ago. This is a firmer wedge of foam on the inner midsole. The underlying theory was that the harder inner midsole prevents the foot from rolling excessively inwards.
It sounded great on paper and made sense in the 70s and 80s. Back then, running shoes had thin, blown EVA foam midsoles that packed quickly and lost their structure within a few weeks. We already covered this subject in detail in one of our 2015 shoe reviews, so we won’t devote any more screen space.
The bottomline is – modern-day stability running shoes with a medial post are redundant. Perhaps vintage stability shoes were partially effective, but then those were ugly-looking beasts with oversized medial posts. Now that’s a medial post.
Midsole foams have come of age, so even neutral shoes are supportive enough. To nobody’s surprise, recent traditional stability shoe updates have evolved into supportive neutrals. Look no further than the New Balance Vongo or the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 for proof. Even the venerable Nike Structure has ditched its medial post and adopted a ‘supportive neutral’ persona instead.
So if traditional overpronation-control shoes are a relic of the past, then why does this buyer’s guide exist?
There are two reasons. The first is to tell you that you don’t need expensive ‘pronation control’ running shoes.
The other reason is that a lot of runners want the feeling of a firmer medial wedge, the same way some prefer insoles that provide a sense of under-arch support.
Like any other running shoe, wearing a medially posted model is a personal choice. To that end, we’ve put together a list of traditional stability shoes.
Unlike our other stability shoe guide that also included non-posted support shoes and stable neutrals, this article only focuses on models with a firmer stability wedge.
So if you don’t see shoes like the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 or Nike Structure 23, you know why. adidas and Mizuno also do not sell shoes with a medial post, so they’re left out too. The Saucony Guide ISO 2 was on this guide in 2019, but the new Guide 14 does not. Ditto for the Hurricane 23 and the Brooks Beast 20.
One good thing about most shoes on this guide is that their wedges aren’t intrusive. So even runners who otherwise run in ‘neutral’ shoes can buy them without any worries.
Here’re our picks, sorted alphabetically.
1) Asics Gel-Kayano 27
Not a lot has changed on the Kayano 27; all the familiar parts are where they belong. A firmer medial wedge graces the inner midsole, and a visible Gel pad is sandwiched between the foam layers of the rearfoot.
On top, a plush engineered mesh upper delivers a fit and feel that is close to the 26. This is Asics’s premier stability shoe, so an obligatory external clip provides heel support.
This year’s Kayano is noticeably softer under the forefoot. Most of Asics’s current generation models are turning softer, and the Kayano gets the same treatment.
Forefoot strikers will find the ride a little more forgiving than the last time. The better balance of softness between the front and rear makes the ride more connected and cohesive.
At its core, the Kayano 27 remains a reliable stability trainer for everyday runs and long-distance workouts alike.
2) Asics Gel GT-2000 9
Though the ‘Kayano Lite’ is a thing, the Asics GT-2000 has long been the designated ‘Lite’ version of the more expensive Kayano. The GT-2000 9 is more than an ounce lighter, and its $120 retail price is a lighter financial burden.
The GT-2K also has a medial post, except that everything is toned down to result in the aforementioned weight difference.
The end product is a traditional stability shoe that feels lighter and more versatile than the pricier Kayano. The lower weight also makes the shoe feel faster, and yet the cushioning is comfortable enough for runs of varying ranges.
Unlike the Kayano, the upper keeps the trims and frills to a minimum. The engineered mesh shell fits comfortably and true-to-size, whereas molded details on the midfoot and heel lend the upper structural support and aesthetic appeal.
Much like the New Balance 860, the GT-2000 9 is a tried and tested ‘middle ground’ running shoe with a medial post.
3) Asics GT-1000 10
The GT-1000 10 delivers a mild motion-control ride experience. There is a firmer medial post (Duomax), but it’s tiny and does not affect the overall ride dynamics.
There is a slight cushioning bias that favors the outer midsole but that’s precisely why this model features on this guide. The midsole geometry gets you a firmer inner midsole and softer outer sidewall. That’s understandable considering that the outer side has a visible Gel pad for softness.
A long time ago, the GT 1000 used to feel like a cheaply-made running shoe. In 2021, that’s no longer the case. The construction may be basic, but it uses soft heel and tongue lining materials to produce a comfortable fit that is also secure.
The GT-1000 10 uses the same midsole and outsole as the last year’s GT-1000 9, so the ride quality is identical. That being said, the upper is an improvement over the 2020 model. The exteriors are now made of an engineered mesh, and the additional upper details make the shoe look better.
If you’re unfamiliar with Asics’s stability shoe line-up, know that the GT-1000 is part of the unofficial Kayano/GT-2000/GT-1000 group. The Kayano is the premium stability trainer (and the most expensive), followed by the 2000 and then the 1000.
4) Brooks Addiction 14
There’s a lot of the Brooks Beast 18 in this shoe. We say that because the Beast 20 is a ‘Guiderail’ convert and no longer has a medial wedge. That’s also the reason why the Beast 20 doesn’t show up on this year’s version of this article.
The Addiction 14 gets you the cushioned and supportive stability shoe experience – but in a traditionally designed package. The wide midsole and outsole deliver a planted ride while the firm and large medial post have the retro stability shoe feel.
Even the upper has a lot of the Beast 18 (and 20) in it. The engineered mesh and the plush heel and tongue join forces to produce a comfortable and spacious upper fit.
The Addiction is also available in multiple widths.
5) New Balance Fresh Foam 860V11
Last year, the 860 received what was one of its most significant updates yet. Though the shoe did not get rid of the medial post like the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 or the Nike Structure 23, the design changes are worth mentioning.
The 860V11 transitioned from a blended medial post set-up to a smaller wedge with a sloped design. This leaves a margin of soft foam layer above and to the rear of the wedge. The said update dials down the 860’s motion-control feel and steers it closer towards the neutral trainer territory.
The headlining act is the 860’s switch to a Fresh Foam midsole. While the design still relies on triple-density foam, the overall ride is softer and more responsive than the 860V10.
Many changes take place on the upper too. The heel gets the flared collar from the 1080, and the midfoot fit is smoother. Both are functional improvements for most runners who are moving up from the 860 V10.
6) New Balance FuelCell Prism
The NB Fuelcell Prism has the distinction of being the mildest ‘stability’ shoe on this guide. It is also the softest and lightest – thanks to its midsole material. The firmer medial-post is surrounded by a softer foam, so it doesn’t make its presence felt; just ever so slightly.
The Prism isn’t your regular stability shoe. It’s got a cushioned-trainer-meets-tempo-trainer-meets-860 kind of a vibe, and that bodes well for its versatility.
On one hand, the soft and planted ride makes short work of easygoing runs. The same cushioning extends the Prism’s mileage range while feeling efficient enough for peppier runs. The streamlined upper also lends a fast-shoe feel to the Prism.
This option works if you want just the slightest hint of a medial post in your running shoe.
7) Saucony Omni 19
Just because this list is sorted alphabetically, the Saucony Omni 19 is the last shoe to feature on this guide. So it’s merely coincidental that the Omni 19 happens to be the most traditional motion-control shoe here. It has none of the new-fangled foams or sleek uppers.
Looking at the Omni 19 is like rewinding the clock to 2012; there’s nothing that suggests that this shoe belongs in 2021.
A very large medial post stands out with its marbled treatment, and that’s something that can be felt under the foot too. The midsole may be Pwrrun, but its firm ride is a reminder of the older Saucony designs. It is very supportive but has a motion control undertone due to the dual-density construction.
There’s not a lot happening on the upper either. Just some good old-fashioned engineered mesh cobbled together with welded overlays and padded lining; this combination produces a predictably comfortable and secure fit.
If the idea of a medial post appeals to your running shoe geekiness, then make the Omni 19 should fit right in.